Plainwell quarterback Jackson Vlietstra throws on the run in the game against Allegan. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Plainwell prevails over Allegan in weather-shortened game

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

The past few weeks have been a bit unusual for members of the Plainwell football team.
It seemed only fitting, then, that theme should carry over into the Trojans’ season-opening game against visiting Allegan on Thursday, Aug. 29.
Plainwell—which went through a coaching change midway through the first week of practice—held a 38-20 lead over the Tigers with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter when the game was delayed due to lightning. And that’s the way the game ended, as the weather didn’t allow for the contest to restart.
“We talked about our options, but we weren’t able to get enough players from both teams to continue (on Friday, Aug. 30) because of the holiday weekend,” interim Plainwell coach Chuck Hadley said. “So it was ruled an official game at that point.”
Hadley, who has been involved with the Plainwell program for the past decade and was tabbed to be the JV coach this season, took over when Darren Conklin resigned due to personal and health issues.
“I was proud of the way our boys played,” Hadley said. “They couldn’t control any of the other things that have happened in the past three weeks, but they could control their attitude and effort and those were both spot on tonight.”
Although the game ended well for Plainwell, it didn’t start that way.
On the first play from scrimmage, Allegan’s Josh Hansen hooked up with Logan Abraham for a 61-yard touchdown.
That started a back-and-forth first half that saw the teams alternate scoring three touchdowns each and ended with the Trojans up 24-20 after scoring on a 2-yard run by Gideon Likens with 17.4 seconds left before halftime.
“We have a confident group of kids,” Hadley said. “They didn’t let that start deter them from the game plan. Their heads were still high and the energy was still good. We just went back to work.”
Plainwell scored a pair of TDs in the opening minutes of the third quarter—getting a 68-yard run from Likens and a 52-yard run from Brett Taylor—to extend the lead to 38-20.
Likens finished with 205 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries, while Taylor added 112 yards on 11 carries.
Abraham finished with two receiving TDs for Allegan, adding a 29-yard reception from Jayden Smith to go with the one from Hansen. He also led the rushing attack with 53 yards on five carries, while Tyson Mead had 25 yards—including two on a touchdown run—on eight carries.
Smith was 9-of-13 passing for 136 yards.
“Allegan fought hard all night,” Hadley said. “Coach (Chris) Madill had his group ready to play.”   
 

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